Wiro Sableng - Volume 3 - Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

The area between the Cidangkelok river in the east and the Cimanuk river in the west was filled with an incredibly fertile area . The farms were green with lush crops with amazing yields, the paddy fields were golden colored like a golden carpet laid out on them . The granaries were full, with stock enough for 1-2 years of consumptions . The people themselves live with higher level of welfare compared to the others in the surrounding areas . They were all healthy, friendly and diligent in their work .

The Bojongnipah village was the main village in that area spanning between the Cidangkelok and Cimanuk rivers . The farms, paddy fields and fishery products managed by the locals were brimming over the top and this village was also led by a wise and capable village chief named Ki Kundrawana . It was evident how wise and smart Ki Kundrawana was in managing the village and its people that there were many Village Chiefs from other surrounding villages that came to ask for help from Kundrawana in matters concerning the life of their villagers and their life to be better and more prosperous .

In a dark, cloudy night, when the wind was blowing hard and chilling, Village Chief Kundrawana could be seen leisurely sitting on the porch of his humble house, chatting with his wife Warih Sinten . Between the lips of the 40 years old Chief Kundrawana, a pipe with its dimming ember was slipped on .

“It’s cold out here, dear…” said Warih Sinten while tidying up her garment, covering his white smooth thigh .

“True . It seems like it’s going to rain . Let’s get inside…” said Chief Kundrawana while standing up .

But even before the husband-wife pair stepped inside, abruptly three figures flashed . Their postures were tall and sturdy, with ugly and scary faces!

Looking at them, Chief Kundrawana was aware of the situation and immediately reached his right hand to his waist where his kris was slipped onto . But with his amazing speed, one of the men in black suddenly already had his blade stuck on the neck of Chief Kundrawana! Warih Sinten that was about to scream was muffled by another man from the group! Chief Kundrawana knew that the three men were undoubtedly a group of wretched bandits . But it was for the first time that his village was haunted by these kinds of bandits, while this village had been managed by him since long ago, and so far it was living in peace and prosperity .

Even then, Chief Kundrawana tried to calm himself and asked, “Who are you, why are you coming to my village…?”

The man whose blade was on the Chief of Bojongnipah Village Chief’s neck grinned hideously . His protruding teeth was blackened, as dark as the clothing that they wer wearing .

“Ahaha… It’s good that you ask us . But before I answer, you must remember one thing . If you try anything stupid and refuse our orders, don’t regret it if you see your son sleeping inside nailed on the house’s pole!”

Chief Kundrawana was utterly shocked . Warih Sinten, his wife was also shivering in fear . The man in black let out another grin, “Now… about our identity… Have you ever heard of the Black Trio from the Comel River?”

This information made all the blood ran dry from Chief Kundrawana’s face .

“You are now facing the honorable us, Kundrawana . I am Tapak Luwing, their leader!”

Chief Kundrawana knew really well and had often heard about the Black Trio from the Comel River . They were three evil, vicious bandits that were roaming around the area of Comel River u to the border . Comel River was miles away from the Bojongnipah Village… so how did these three evil men got here, pondered Kundrawana .

“Tapak Luwing! If you wish to rob, then do it! Take all you wish and leave my village alone!”

The Head of the Black Trio laughed, “We were indeed so far known as robber . But Chief Kundrawana, we come today not to rob you!”

Of course this surprised Chief Kundrawana . “So what do you want?” he asked

“We come to make a deal with you . ”

“What deal?”

“Starting today, you must submit to all our rules and orders, do you understand?”

Chief Kundrawana gulped, “What kind of rules and orders do you mean?” he asked . Meanwhile, his right hand silently crawled ever closer back to his waist . This Chief of Bojongnipah village had resolved his determination to fight back although at that time the blade of Tapak Luwing was right next to his own neck, and his wife was still held captive by one of Tapak Luwing’s man .

Chief Kundrawana managed to grab ahold to his kris’ hilt . He lightning-quickly stabbed it to Tapak Luwing’s belly . But as the Head of the Black Trio, he wasn’t as stupid and careless as Chief Kundrawana predicted . His right hand moved downward in a sweeping move once and the sound of two weapons clanging was heard, along with a blinding spark . This whole event brought a yelp to Warih Sinten, whose mouth was muffled .

Tapak Luwing’s blade swept away the kris in Chief Kundrawana’s hand along with his thumb, which was cut cleanly all the way to his nail . Chief Kundrawana wailed in agony, blood spurted from his missing thumb . Meanwhile Tapak Luwing’s blade had once more placed on his neck .

“It seems you want to lose your head that badly huh?” Tapak Luwing snarled

“Kill me, I’m not afraid! You inhuman! Despic…”

A left handed slap from the Head of the Black Trio smashed onto Kundrawana’s cheek . His vision blurred, his cheek reddened and the corner of his lips were bleeding!

“Still wanna blab?!” asked Tapak Luwing

Chief Kundrawana growled inwardly, but he said nothing

“You want to submit and follow my orders or do you choose death?”

“I’m not afraid of death, and neither does my wife!” barked the Chief .

Taak Luwing grinned, “You guys are indeed fearless . But do you have the heart to watch your son sleeping inside having his head rolls on this floor?”

Chief Kundrawana grew silent .

Tapak Luwing then pushed the man inside, ordering him to sit on a chair . “For the sake of your life, and your family’s as well, you’d better off discuss this nicely with me, Chief! Listen up, from now on, you must follow all my orders . Now tell me, when is the tax collection from the villagers every month…?”

Chief Kundrawana couldn’t get his head wrapped and comprehend this question . Nevertheless, he answered, “Monday on the first week . ”

“Now, when all those taxes were collected, where did you submit it to?” asked Tapak Luwing again

“To the Duke in Linggarjati, and he will then give it to the capital . ”

“Hmm… I see… That’s one hell of a rule . But from now on, the monthly tax collection will be ten times of the previous ones…!”

Chief Kundrawana was shell-shocked!

He was even more shocked when Tapak Luwing continued, “That tax must also be collected three times in a month! Understood?”

“What kind of rules is this?”

“You don’t need to ask what rules, you just need to obey!” barked Tapak Luwing .

“You are not allowed to do as you please, Tapak Luwing! This could possibly bring you in trouble with the Duke of Linggarjati, from the Kingdom itself!”

“The thing with the Duke, will be yours to handle . But if you dare to report this to anyone, I’ll make sure all your family pay the price! Got that?!”

“You can do all you want with my family, Tapak Luwing, but I won’t allow you to mess with the Duke and the Kingdom!”

“I told you the matter with the Duke is your business to handle, also the one with the Kingdom! I only need to know that three times in a month I must get a sum of money ten times the amount you collect from the villagers all these years!”

“Overboard! You’re way too overboard Tapak Luwing! Not a single villager will be able to pay the tax with that amount!”

“The people here are rich, dammit! They have farms, lands, buffaloes, cows, goats, chicken and even ducks!”

“But ten times the amount… how could they…”

Tapak Luwing quickly interrupted, “Do I need to make you collect fifteen times more, or twenty times the amount, huh?”

“I won’t do this Tapak Luwing! I can’t extort my people!”

“Like hell I care! If you can’t extort your people, then can you watch the death of your own son?”

When the Head of the Black Trio took out this ace, Chief Kundrawan could only fell silent .

Tapak Luwing nodded his head to his lackey standing near the door . Seeing this signal, the man at once entered Chief Kundrawana’s bed chamber . This prompted Kundrawana and he stood from his chair, “What do you want!” he snapped .

Tapak Luwing pushed back the man that Kundrawana fell back to his seat . Right after, Tapak Luwing’s man emerged from the room hoisting Chief Kundrawana’s son . This boy was only four years old . In his arm, the boy was still sleeping soundly, unknowing of what was happening to him . Anxiety immediately shown on the faces of Warih Sinten and Kundrawana .

“What do you want to do with my boy?” asked Kundrawana

“As long as you follow my orders, your son will be safe and sound . I’m taking him for a while as my guarantee that you will not report this matter to anyone! You hear me Kundrawana!”

The man in question was silent .

“Hear me?!” Tapak Luwing repeated angrily . Chief Kundrawana was forced to answer with a slow nod .

“Those taxes had better reach my hand one day after the collection at the latest! Bring it to the old hut on the intersection that takes you to Linggarjati . I will wait for you myself there at midday!”

“I will not bring it!” snarled Chief Kundrawana . “You can collect it here yourself!”

Tapak Luwing laughed coldly, “Don’t forget the safety of your son, o’ Village Chief,” he said . Then the Head of the Black Trio of the Comel River signaled, and along with his two lackeys they left the house of the Village Chief, Kundrawana .

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